Travelling by Ship

Travelling by Ship
The M.S. Santhia was with sold to the Shipping Corporation of India, and the transfer took place at Bombay on December 6, 1966. She was renamed “State of Haryana” and she was placed in one of their services.

On our departure from Kenya we travelled by ship - M S Santhia. We boarded at around 3 pm, but the ship did not depart till
All day long the large cranes were loading the cargo/baggage in the hold of the ship. We even had the opportunity to see our cargo picked up from the dock by a see through net and dropped in the hold of the ship.  The big things we had were a piano, a fridge, a cooker, a bicycle and a lot of boxes and trunks.  And for some reason they were mostly loaded together.

At around 12 am we noticed the ship drift from the dock and after it was towed to the open sea, there was a horn blast to say - we're on our way.

We were on the lower deck which had beds dormitory style. From down there, all we could hear was the sounds in the engine room, pushing the ship forward. It was a 10 day voyage through the mighty ocean with not even a bird in sight, though there was the occasional sighting of fish jumping.

My brother and I explored almost all parts of the ship with no GPS or map. Funny how we did not get lost, nor was it necessary to leave bread crumbs to find our way back to our deck.
I remember we went to the tip of the bow of the ship and sat there observing the ship move forward,  sometimes even leaning a bit over. The captain noticed that and sent someone to calmly move us away from there as the ship was hitting the waves through rough seas we could have been thrown overboard.

There was a play section for children and opened daily from 9 am to evening There was a line up to get in prior to the gates being opened. However we found a gap besides the closed gates where we could fit through and were able to get in before the gates opened.
The guy who opened the gate at first wondered how we got there with the gate closed and I guess his thoughts were going in the direction that we were left behind, the previous day.

About half way on the voyage, the ship anchored midstream near Seychelles. Due to tide restrictions the ship was unable to get close to the land. The vendors bringing their souvenirs, approached in row boats, got on the ship through a ladder that was put down.

After 9 days we could see flickering lights in the horizon which got almost every one on the top deck. However, it took a day or more to reach those lights.
And while we were eager to see land, it was a slow process in keeping with the tides.

On arrival the same unloading procedure, cranes nets but less skilled labour. We watched as the cranes would unload and let go of the cargo from a height of a few meters to the ground. Fortunately all our large cargo was professionally packed so there was no damage.
We had to come back the next day to pick up the baggage since it took a full day to unload and sort.

After a month’s rest and relaxation, we moved to Bombay to continue our schooling. This journey again by a smaller ship since there was no train service to Bombay. The only bus service was the State Transport buses, which were reckless.

Goa to Bombay by ship

After all the shipping we arrived at our final destination - Bombay where we had a few months before the next academic year, which we used to do a crash course in Hindi, which was a compulsory subject for our admission. Hindi was taught in the earlier grades so we had to play catch up.

Hope you enjoyed reading. Your feedback and comments are always welcome.